For the second season in a row, Auburn visits one of the strangest arenas in college basketball with benches under the baskets and a floor raised above the first level to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Vanderbilt is 8-7 on the season, 0-3 in the SEC. They've started the conference schedule with a loss at home to LSU and two road losses against Arkansas and South Carolina.
Only two Commodores are averaging double-digit points per game. Sophomore Wade Baldwin IV averages 14.6, while Junior Damian Jones averages 13.3. Auburn has five players averaging double-digits, but unfortunately one of those (TJ Dunans) is hurt and another (Cinmeon Bowers) has been in a real slump when it comes to points-scoring, lately. Or at least it feels that way.
Both teams are averaging just under 80 points per game, overall, and statistics are fairly close across the board. Vanderbilt is the better shooting team in every statistical category, though.
Both teams played tough out-of-conference schedules. Vanderbilt played three teams ranked in the current Top 25 (Kansas, Baylor, and Purdue) to Auburn's one (Xavier), and gave each of them a good game. Vanderbilt's schedule is currently #11 in strength, while Auburn's is 29th. In RPI, Vandy sits at 67th and Auburn at 82nd.
Vanderbilt has a real height advantage in this game, as they have three players at 7 feet or better. They also have two others at 6'9 and 6'10. Auburn, meanwhile, is dealing with serious depth issues due to injuries, and the Tigers' big men haven't been playing all that well, of late. I'm not saying they've been playing bad, but they've been getting into foul trouble that limits their minutes, and therefore severely hurts Auburn's effectiveness.
After Saturday night's performance against Missouri, it's really hard for me to see Auburn leaving Nashville with a victory. A healthy Auburn playing like they were a few weeks ago? Absolutely, I think that team could and would win. However, this team is worn out, committing way too many turnovers (many of them on horrendous passes), and will be on the road in a hostile arena that Auburn hasn't played well at in a long time.
How to Watch
Time: 9pm Eastern / 8pm Central
Listen: Auburn IMG Network